'It is disastrous' - Businesses hit hard by ongoing roadworks in town centre
PUBLISHED: 12:04 07 February 2019 | UPDATED: 12:56 07 February 2019
Disgruntled business owners have claimed roadworks being carried out next to the street they trade on have been “disastrous” for their dealings.
One shop owner in Northgate Street, Great Yarmouth said he would shut down if business did not improve over the next two weeks.
Work being carried out by Norfolk County Council to build a new crossing in the Fullers Hill area of the town began on Monday, January 28.
It is scheduled to last until the beginning of April.
A bus stop which normally allows pedestrians to get off close to the road is not in use due to the work.
Businesses have also claimed the signs have led people to believe Northgate Street is completely closed.
Andrew Bradfield, who owns The New Norfolk Kitchen cafe, said since the work began he had been 20pc to 30pc down on takings most days.
“It really has been terrible and has hit all of us hard,” he said. “The diversion signs are all over the place and some days have been really bad for us.
“There should be a temporary bus stop at least for people who get off near Northgate Street.”
A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said: “Since work started our site manager has been in regular contact with businesses in and around Fullers Hill to help address any concerns.
“The area is still fully accessible on foot and we have responded by changing signage, increasing the number of ‘businesses open as usual’ notices and putting in place an additional temporary pedestrian crossing.”
Paul Higgs, of Refreshingly Different, said he would close his shop if income did not improve.
Mr Higgs said: “We are a not-for-profit business and because the impact on trade has been really bad I am going to have to consider shutting down. We do a lot for the community such as the food and clothes bank we have. It is disastrous.”
The council said the work has been intentionally carried out over the winter months when the town was at its quietest.
It said the project was designed to make it quicker, easier and safer to travel around the area.
Owner of Northgate Fish, Bridget Lowe, who has been running her business for nine years, said she had never known trade to be as bad as it had been for the past two weeks.